Right-wing group objects to film screening at Pune’s NFAI
The members belonging to ‘Samasta Hindu Bandhav Sanghatana’ shouted ‘Jai Shri Ram’ slogans and objected to the screening of the film stating that it had derogatory references related to the Indian Army
At least fifteen to twenty members of a right-wing group staged a protest against the screening of the film ‘I Am Not The River Jhelum’ during an ongoing film festival at the National Film Archive of India (NFAI) on Sunday.
The members belonging to ‘Samasta Hindu Bandhav Sanghatana’ shouted ‘Jai Shri Ram’ slogans and objected to the screening of the film stating that it had derogatory references related to the Indian Army.
The same set of protestors were allegedly involved in a fight that broke out inside the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) campus on January 23 over banners put up by students condemning the 1992 demolition of the Babri Masjid.
Following the incident, Deccan police detained and served notices to 18 protestors under sections 69 and 69 of Maharashtra Police Act 1951.
Vivek Hasabnis, inspector at Deccan police station, who reached the venue following the incident brought the activists to the police station. “We will see the entire film and based on the objectionable portions in the film, legal action will be initiated,” he said.
“We don’t want any law and order issue and hence action will be initiated,” added Hasabnis.
Ravindra Padwal, president, Samasta Hindu Bandhav Sanghatana, said upon learning of a negative portrayal of the Indian Army in the film, they intervened during a screening at NFAI, objecting to scenes depicting atrocities in Kashmir by the Indian Army.
“If the film indeed portrays the Indian Army negatively, it should be deemed seditious, warranting legal action against the director,” said Padwal.
Latika Padgaonkar, convenor of the film festival while refusing to elaborate on the issue, said, “From our side, it is all sorted out.”
As many as 12 award-winning Indian movies from multiple Indian languages are being screened over three days at the ‘Cinemas of India – A Festival of Contemporary Indian Films’, organised by Pune International Centre (PIC) at the NFAI.
The award-winning and critically acclaimed feature film is based on glimpses of the life of its young protagonist Afeefa living in Kashmir. The film is directed by Prabhas Chandra who too was present during the screening.
Prashant Girbane, general secretary, PIC, said, “We are currently reviewing the entire incident and comment on the issue tomorrow.”